I believe that the NY Times interactive feature 512 Paths to the White House is one of the best visualizations of all time. It is even better when we have details on the process of creating this marvel. Although the graphic is not suited for other data sources (please tell me if this is not correct), I just could not resist using the amazing R packages slidify and rCharts from Ramnath Vaidyanathan to build it from R. I wouldn’t have even thought it possible until I saw his tutorial Replicating NY Times Interactive Graphic and his demo Visualizing the Reinhart and Rogoff Public Debt Study.
I have a feeling that nearly every R user of lattice or ggplot2 will be familiar with Ramnath’s brilliance by the end of the year 2013. He might even convince some d3 users to try a little R.
Even more amazing is the entire tutorial embedded below (click here if it does not appear) is created in R with slidify, so it is entirely reproducible. rCharts is early in development, but I urge you to try it out.